After three months where working from home in sweatpants was the norm and shopping online became crucial, the summer of 2020 is an interesting time for the fashion industry. As more and more Americans begin to resume normal activities, many wonder what the fashion scene will look like.
Maddie Hawes, who is working on bachelor's degrees in textile and apparel management and journalism at MU, sees an increase in popularity for athletic and athleisure clothes for the summer.
“One of the things doctors are suggesting now is the best way to social distance… is to go outside,” she says. “It should be easier and more comfortable in the heat to wear activewear clothing.”
Full-time Columbia fashion blogger Stephanie Ziajka also predicted that athleisure will continue to be in style. In the transition from working from home during the pandemic, she predicted that people are going to find ways to incorporate the comfy clothes they’ve been wearing for the past few months into business attire.
“You can dress up black jogger pants really nicely,” she says. “You can pair a button down with it and wear it to the office, no problem. And I think that’s what you’re going to see more of.”
Another big trend she’s been seeing is tie-dye. Ziajka has a post on her blog, Diary of a Debutante, dedicated to affordable tie-dye pieces that can be found on Amazon.
Protection from the COVID-19 virus is also coming into style as designers create face masks with prints and patterns.
“Vera Bradley I could totally see doing different patterned face masks,” Ziajka says. Vera Bradley has a number of face masks in their trademark patterns available on their website for purchase.
Along with these growing trends, Hawes has noticed a move towards sustainability during the pandemic. With many families taking time spent at home to clean out closets, online platforms such as Depop have become more popular for selling used clothes.
“Fashion coming out of quarantine is going to be really interesting because everybody is getting, you know, ‘new’ clothes that are actually used clothes,” she says.
This is also the case for social media sites such as Instagram, where many users are creating “closet” accounts where friends and other users can purchase their used clothes at cheaper prices.
The rise of sustainable reselling online also points to the importance of online shopping during the pandemic, when it wasn’t possible to go in-store to choose products. According to The Sustainable Apparel Coalition, analysis from the Boston Consulting Group of Google Community data showed footfall in physical retail stores were down by 44% from April to May of 2020, which could mark the full shift from physical to online shopping that has been developing slowly over time with the dawn of online stores like Amazon.
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Ziajka’s fashion blog largely focuses on finding affordable fashion online, and she is big on Amazon fashion finds.
“I feel like some of the most affordable pieces, the most accessible pieces, are pieces that are on major websites like Amazon, or Walmart, even,” she says.
With both the shifts towards sustainable and accessible online fashion in addition to the recent slow in the fast-fashion industry as a result of COVID-19, Hawes thinks that this will be a time where people can discover fashion for themselves instead of being guided by what’s “in fashion.”
“There hasn’t been a lot of focus on 'what’s the next trend,'” she says. “So people have kind of had to take it into their own mindset, like, 'What do I want to wear? What excites me...What brings me joy in this dark, gloomy time?’”